Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Resource for Romance Reads...

This is not for any particular assignment, but I came across it while reading articles for my special topics paper and thought it was worth sharing....It looks like a good resource for current readers of romance, readers new to that genre, and reader's advisers. It's a website called: "All About Romance" at:

What I found interesting about this site, and something that might be helpful in providing reader's advisory, is that they give a "sensuality" on their book reviews. The sensuality ratings range from kisses to burning. The "kisses" books are the softer romance reads that might be better for those new to the genre or just wanting to sample the genre. The "burning" reads are going to be very graphic in regards to the sex scenes and sensuality.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Annotation #3: Mystery--Bare Bones by Kathy Reichs

 By:Kathy Reichs

 #6 in the Temperance Brenan Mysteries Series
   Published  in July 2003, 306 pages

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

  •      Descriptive writing style(scientific jargon more common in thrillers)
  •      Suspenseful
  •      Multiple plotlines
Plot Summary: Tempe Brennan, a witty and skilled forensic anthropologist is preparing for a relaxing summer, when several gruesome discoveries of bones and bodies interrupt her plans. First, there is the discovery of infant remains charred to a crisp in a wood stove. Next, during a picnic, her dog Boyd unearths two large bags full of bones. Shortly after this discovery, there is a report of a small plane crash in a field. Tempe’s plans for a romantic retreat with her new love interest, Andrew Ryan, a lieutenant detective with the Quebec homicide division, are put on hold indefinitely. As Tempe investigates all the bones, she tries to link the cases together. During her investigation, Tempe begins receiving emails from someone who calls themself “The Grim Reaper.” Brennan has to put the clues together quickly before The Grim Reaper destroys her, her family, or anyone else close to these cases.
Read-Alike Titles (from and NoveList):
  •      The Keepsake by Tess Gerritsen
  •      Cross Fire  by James Patterson
  •      Headhunter by Greg Cox
Read-Alike Authors and Series(from Reader’s Advisor Online):
  •     Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta Mysteries
  •    Beverly Conner’s Diane Fallon series
  • Sharyn McCrumb’s Elizabeth MacPherson series
The FOX TV series "Bones" is based off of her work and her books.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Annotation #2: Classic Horror-Frankenstein

Description:'s_monster_(Boris_Karloff).jpg/220px-Frankenstein's_monster_(Boris_Karloff).jpgHorror Classics:
By: Mary Shelley
(Originally Published in 1818)

š Violence
š Dramatic tone
š Descriptive language and scenes

Time Period: 1790’s & Setting: Europe, Russia, and Switzerland
Plot Summary: The book opens with adventurer Robert Walton’s letters to his sister Margaret regarding his expedition to find a new path to the Pacific Ocean. The crew of his ship convinces an emaciated man named Victor Frankenstein to come aboard. He retells his story to Walton. As a young scientist, Victor creates a new life form from a myriad of dead body parts. However, after seeing his creation, he becomes terrified and abandons the creature. After being rejected by his creator and the human-race as a whole, the monster decides to exact his revenge by wreaking havoc on those closest to Frankenstein. Frankenstein seeks to stop the monster’s destructive behavior, but the monster has one demand and that is to have a female companion with similar features created. Frankenstein battles between his responsibility to this creature he created and to the human race.

Read-Alike Classic Horror Titles (from NoveList):
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
    Dracula by Bram Stoker                                                                        
The Turn of the Screw by James Henry
Read-Alike Authors (from NoveList): 
H.G. Wells, Dave Freedman, & Christopher Buehlman

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Annotation 1: Romantic Suspense

Relentless by Jan Hambright

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publication Date: August 1, 2005

Number of Pages: 256 pages

Geographical Setting: New Orleans and Bayou Gauche in Louisiana

Time Period: Contemporary

Series: Harlequin Intrigue #865

Plot Summary: Officer Mick Jacoby has left homicide for the auto theft division, determined to uncover who killed his wife and daughter five years earlier in a hit-and-run following an auto theft. From his years in the auto theft division of the police department, Mick has heard the name Robear come up multiple times in case investigations. When a routine auto-theft investigation leads him to ex-car thief turned repo-agent Kate Robear, he is convinced that she is somehow involved in the hit-and-run that killed his wife and daughter. Has she really abandoned her family’s life of crime for a law-abiding repo-agent job? Kate soon finds herself in several dangerous situations. Mick then vows to protect her. He is determined to find out who is responsible for killing his wife and daughter, and he believes Kate is the answer to solving this long unsolved case. The romance unfolds intensely and quickly at the end.

Subject Headings:
Automobile thieves
Romantic suspense
Love stories
Appeal: Fast paced, suspenseful, and romantic (tone/frame)

Similar Authors: Delores Fossen (writes fast paced, suspenseful, and action-packed romantic suspense), Paula Graves (crime, police, and romantic relationships are common in her books), and Tess Geritsen (romantic relationships, suspense, mystery, police and women detectives).

Read-Alike Book Titles: Courting Disaster: an Angie Amalfi Mystery by Joanne Pence, Into the Corner by Marisa  Carroll and Silent Warning by Kathleen Long.

Courting Disaster and Into the Corner both are about romantic suspense titles that contain similar subject headings of police and homicide elements.

Silent Warning has similar elements of suspense, mystery, romance, and an action-driven plot.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Kirkus style review of Murder Mile High by Lora Roberts

Murder Mile High: By Lora Roberts
Genre: Mystery
Published in 1996
218 pages

Liz Sullivan returns in Lora Roberts' mystery Murder Mile High. Only this time she is a struggling freelance writer turned female Sherlock Holmes in order to prove her own innocence. Estranged from her family, Liz has not been home to Denver in years. She has been traveling cross country in a Scooby-Doo like van, or bus as she calls it, that her niece has lovingly nicknamed “Babe.” When she receives a call from her niece that her mother is ill, Liz grudgingly decides it is time to return home. However, not long after returning home, her troubled past catches up with her. As Liz says, she does not run into trouble, it runs into her. Immediately following her arrival, Liz is horrified and shocked by the grim discovery of her ex-husband with a bullet between his eyes lying on her parent's front porch. The last time Liz was in Colorado she was convicted of attempted manslaughter for trying to kill her brutally abusive, now ex-husband; thus, the police immediately turn to her for answers in the mysterious death of her ex-husband, Tony. This is the last straw for her family, as she has disgraced the family yet again. Murder Mile High presents an unconventional take on the female detective story, but if you like a mystery with a strong, smart, and witty female protagonist, you will probably enjoy this book. While the story-line may seem predictable, there are plenty of loopholes and twists and turns thrown into the mix, to make this a fast paced and engaging read for any mystery fan. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Secret Shopper

I went to the Clark Pleasant branch (in Whiteland, IN.) of the Johnson County Public Library system. I had never actually been in this library before other than to post things up on their bulletin boards, so I was not exactly sure where I was going. Here is what I observed and experienced during my "mystery shop."

 I went there in the evening around 6:30 so there were very few patrons and staff there at the time. When I first entered, I saw a desk that simply said "Information," and it looked like the only place to go for questions but there was not anyone at that desk. So not wanting to feel awkward, I roamed around the fiction section for about ten minutes or so and then proceeded back to the "Information" desk. 

The first question I was asked before I could even say anything, was "Do you want to sign up for our Winter Reading program?" I guess it is good that they are promoting library programs, but at the same time I felt a little guilty for not wanting to sign up for their program at that time. I also thought it could turn people away as they might think that that desk is only for signing up for the "Winter Reading Program," and I do not believe that is actually the case. I said no actually I just wanted to know if she could help me find a good book to read. 

The librarian did ask me a few questions. She asked me what I liked and/or wanted to read, and I said mysteries (of course). The librarian then told me that she was a children's librarian there, and not real familiar with adult fiction. That was the point at which I expected her to either use some of the reader's advisory tools that we learned about in class or even go get another librarian who might be more knowledgeable about adult fiction. 

However, she did not do either of those. She simply said she mainly has to know children's materials, but does try to read some YA and adult fiction/nonfiction so she knows some authors/titles who may be good in those areas. So, next she went straight to what she knew in the area. However, the first place she took me was the large print materials, and I do not know if that was because it was closest to the desk she was sitting at or because maybe her eyesight was bad. 

She said she had been reading an author (Lisa Scottoline) that she really enjoyed, and wanted to see if they had her books. She found Lisa Scottoline, who by the way, writes legal thrillers, in large print and then proceeded on to locate her books in the regular fiction section. This librarian said she imagined that anything by her (Lisa Scottoline) would be good, which as we all know an author can be good but that does not mean that everything they write is good. I like Patricia Cornwell a lot, but I do not like every book that she has written, one in particular comes to mind, it is called "Predator." 

This librarian also made sure to state that these books did not have a lot of foul language in them, which I assumed was something that she did not care for in books. I read Patricia Cornwell, who tends to throw a lot of curse words into her books and that does not bother me. Surprisingly, this librarian also said she had listened to one of Patricia Cornwell's books ("From Potter's Field") on audio--I am not sure if that book had foul language in it or not. 

Next, she pondered what other authors she knew and then proceeded to pull all of Nicholas Sparks' books off the shelf. I am not sure how "I like to read mysteries, and really want to read a new mystery book" translated to Nicholas Sparks. She did also ask if I was interested in biographies or just fiction, and I said "no just fiction." Since I had asked for mysteries, I was waiting to see if she would mention Patricia Cornwell. She eventually did, but I said I had read all of her books (not true)  :) and wanted something else kind of like what she writes. The librarian pointed out one other author-Kathy Reichs, who writes forensic thrillers/mysteries and is maybe closer to something that I would be interested in reading. The FOX TV series "Bones" is inspired by or based on her books, which I thought was interesting even though I have never seen this show. 

She did also point out that the mystery books were labeled as such on the shelf, but at the same time said "and we have a lot of inspirational fiction." Again, I assume this is something that she likes to read so she assumes that I will, too. 

Overall, I cannot say that she did a lot to find me a good book and the books by Kathy Reichs were probably the closest that she came to finding what I was looking for. I am intrigued by her books, although I do not know how much I will really like them. (After looking at NoveList, I  think she may have hit it right on the nail with Kathy Reichs because NoveList has Patricia Cornwell as the number one read-alike. I thought these this author sounded very similar to Cornwell, and I was correct. The suggestion of Reichs was from books that her kids read I believe though, so she could not give me a lot of information on this author.) I think this reader's advisory interview could have been a lot better if she A.) used some of the tools we discussed in class and/or B.) went and got another librarian (this may have not been a sensible option to her though as I think I counted four employees in the entire library at the time). She was very pleasant and good at making conversation though, and at least made a good effort to help me find what I needed. I did also check-out a Janet Evanovich book, one of Kathy Reich's books, and another random book marked mystery that I found on the shelf.